Author's Note: After time-skip, only Sasuke didn't turn evil, Konoha was never destroyed, Orochimaru was killed by the Third Hokage when they fought, Tsunade is the current Hokage, and Gaara is the Kazekage. Also, this occurs at roughly the same time as my "Cherry Blossoms of the Sand" oneshot, basically maybe a half hour or so later.

-Ichiraku Ramen bar-
"Oi, Shika-kun! Over here!" Ino calls to the lazy, slouching shinobi as he approaches the ramen stand.

Shikamaru sees Ino sitting with Hinata, Tenten, Neji, Naruto, and Kiba. He goes over and sits next to Kiba.

"Hey everyone," he says lazily. "Where are Sakura-chan, Lee-kun, Shino-kun, and Sasuke-kun?"

"Sakura-chan is probably shopping and Lee-san, Shino-kun, and Sasuke-kun are off on a mission for the week," Kiba says. "You've been acting weird lately, Shika-kun. What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," he lies.

Truth is, he was heartbroken. A few weeks ago their friends from the Sand Village had visited them. Shikamaru had spent the few days that Kankuro, Temari, and Gaara were here acting very well un-Shikamaru-ish. He had been flirting with Temari the entire time and had actaully convinced her to go out with him but had nearly been killed by Gaara and Kankuro for it. Kankuro had flirted with Tenten and had nearly gotten killed by Neji for it. Gaara didn't really bother with anyone except for when Shikamaru had asked his sister to go out with him but otherwise he(Gaara) had spent a lot of time staring at Sakura. Sakura had tried avoiding him but the more she avoided him the more he followed her.

"Shikamaru-kun?" Hinata's quiet voice pulls him out of his thoughts. He looks over at her curiously. "Are you sure you're ok? You're drooling a bit."

"Yeah, I'm fine," he says blushing.

"Liar," Tenten says. "You miss Tem-chan don't you?"

His face reddens as he shakes his head.

"Aww. Shika-kun, Temari-chan and you look so cute together," Ino chirps.

"Shut up, Ino-chan," he snaps, his face a crimson red.

"Anyway, Gaara-kun and Tem-chan are coming here tomorrow," Naruto says trying to change the subject.

"That explains why Sakura-chan isn't here," Neji says as Shikamaru suddenly disappears.

-same day-
-the Kazekage's office-
"Gaara-nii-san, what's wrong?" I ask my brother. "You've been staring out the window in the direction of Konohagakure all day."

"Isn't it obvious, Temari-onee-chan. Our brother's in love with that pink-haired Konohagakure kunoichi. Isn't that right, Gaara-nii-san?" Kankuro smirks as our brother just continues staring.

"I love only myself, Kankuro-onii-san," Gaara states. "That girl means nothing to me."

"Then why are you planning on escorting me to Konohagakure tomorrow when you know I can go by myself?"

"Because, Temari-onee-chan, you're going to see your boyfriend and I plan on telling him myself that if he even thinks about touching you, I'll bury him in sand so deep no one will ever find him," Gaara says.

"Fine, just tell your girlfriend that if she does anything to hurt my baby brother, I'll kill her," I snap.

"I'm out of here," Kankuro says and quickly leaves the office.

"She is not my girlfriend," Gaara says harshly. "I just wish that she was," he adds in just below a whisper.

"So Kankuro-nii-san and I were right. You do like her," I smirk and kiss my brother's cheek. "Just tell her how you feel and everything'll be fine."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Because that's what Shika-kun did and now we're dating."

"Ugh. Don't remind me," Gaara sighs.

"It's not that bad," I say putting him in a headlock.

The next morning we leave for Konohagakure hoping to get there around noon. The journey there is a rather short and uneventful one. The only interesting thing is when a group of thieves tries attacking us. Doesn't work. We reach Konohagakure around noon and are greeted happily by the Chuunin standing guard at the gate. We turn over the thieves and enter the village to see Shikamaru waiting for me and I sense Sakura hiding in the shadows nearby.

"Hey, Temari-chan!" Shikamaru greets me with a hug and kiss. He glances nervously at Gaara afterwards. "Gaara-kun. What are you doing here?" he asks returning my brother's glare.

"Gaara-nii-san wanted to escort me here since he has to talk to the Hokage. Right, baby brother?" I say/ask shooting a quick glare at my brother.

Gaara nods and then turns to Shikamaru again.

"Listen, I swear, if you ever do anything to hurt my sister in anyway at all, I'll bury you in sand so deep no one will ever find you," Gaara snaps.

"Gaara-nii-san, Shika-kun won't hurt me because he knows I'll kill him before you can," I say trying to calm my brother down.

"Gaara-kun, do you honestly think I don't know that?" Shikamaru snaps. "And is there some other reason you're here?"

"Just to speak to the Hokage about something," Gaara mutters and turns his head away blushing a bit. "I wanted to ask her permission to make one of her students my wife," he adds before leaving for the Hokage's office.

I shake my head and look over to where I sensed Sakura's chakra earlier. Shikamaru follows my gaze and sighs.

"Sakura-chan, you can come out," I call loud enough for her to hear me.

She walks over slowly and somewhat depressed. I laugh to myself having a feeling that she misheard the last part of what my brother had said.

"Cheer up, Sakura-chan," I say happily as I hand her a folded up piece of paper Gaara had given me before we had left for Kohonagakure. I smile as I watch her read the note and look at me confused.

"What's this?" she asks as she unfolds the paper. "It's a note from Gaara-kun asking me to meet him near the waterfall tonight? But he said he has a wife? Why would he-I'm confused."

I laugh at her and put my arm on her shoulder before putting her in a headlock.

"One, Gaara-nii-san didn't say he has a wife, he said he wanted to ask the Hokage if he could make her adorable pink-haired student his wife. And two, he wants to propose to you at the waterfall tonight because it's the most romantic place in Konohagakure," I say happily. "But I never told you any of that, ok?"

She slowly nods, everything I had just told her still being processed. She tries to remain decently calm but her crimson red face, bright green eyes, and huge smile say otherwise.

"Sakura-chan, are you ok?" Shikamaru asks her.

"Never been better," she says happily. "I'm guessing you two are spending the day together, right?"

"Yeah, we are," Shikamaru answers, some pink tinting his face.

She mouths the words 'Don't chicken out' to him and his face becomes red instantly.

"Sakura-chan, good luck with Gaara-san tonight," he says flatly and obviously embarrassed.

"Well then don't forget about that little gift for Tem-chan that you had Ino-chan, Hina-chan, Ten-chan, and I help you with," she smirks and heads home to get ready for later.

"What was that about?" I ask as Shikamaru's face becomes even redder.

"Nothing, I'll tell you later."

"Alright," I shrug and we spend the day walking through Konoha looking for something to do.

"We're almost there, not much further," Shikamaru's got his hands over my eyes and he's taking me somewhere.

"Alright, but where are we going?"

"It's a suprise. On the count of," he moves his hands from my eyes.

"Not bad, Shika-kun," I peck him on the lips and smile at the picnic setting by the river in front of us. "It's perfect."

"Just like you," Shikamaru says from beside me and places a little velvet box in my hand.

"What's this?" I ask and open the box. My eyes widen and a smile makes its way onto my face. "Does this mean-"

Shikamaru sighs. "Asking this is such a drag but will you marry me, Tem-chan?"

"Happily," I say and start hugging and kissing him after he slides an elegant diamond ring onto my finger.